By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
THIBODAUX (LBM) – The 33 churches of Bayou Baptist Association united around a call to share the Gospel with their respective communities, and 12 people turned to Christ during an area-wide evangelistic outreach.
Attendance averaged 150 each session of the ‘Churches United’ Crusade, March 28-30, at three separate locations, nightly, records show.
The harvest of souls included 11 acts of repentance for salvation during the first night at Cut Off Youth Center and another the final evening at Peltier Auditorium on the Nicholls State University campus in Thibodaux, officials shared.
No one repented for salvation or restoration during the second night of the crusade at South Terrebonne High School in Bourg, but many cried out to God for personal revival, said J.P Cox, the crusade director.
The crusade included powerful messages by Preston Nix, an evangelism professor at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and Duane and Iris Blue, Mission Service Corps volunteers with the North American Mission Board, said Cox, pastor of the University Baptist Church in Thibodaux, adding that special music was presented by a multi- denominational praise team.
“The Spirit moved mightily in all facets, from worship to the testimonies to Dr. Nix’s messages,” he shared. “The Spirit moved not only in getting people saved but also unit-ing our churches, and, reigniting the passion among existing believers.
“It was pretty powerful to look around and see people from churches representing multiple denominations,” he said. “There was a spirit of unity in that place. People were ready for something like this – for the Lord to move and work. It was overwhelming in a lot of ways to see the Spirit move so mightily.”
Joe Arnold, director of missions for Bayou Baptist Association, echoed the thought. “I was truly pleased to see our people come together as one to strive t make an impact for Jesus,” he said. “We may not have seen the numbers we wished to have or the decisions we hoped to have but I believe we planted seeds, developed relationships, opened eyes and made an impact that we pray will bring forth additional fruit in the days, months and years to come.”
Prayer was a major focus leading up to the ‘Churches United’ crusade.
Since March 2018, the crusade planning task force met monthly to pray about reaching Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes through a joint evangelistic effort. Soon after they began meeting, Cox said the Holy Spirit confirmed the crusade as a desire of their hearts.
Every two weeks, the planning team continued to hold focused times of prayer at its meetings. Churches also were asked to devote dedicated times of prayer in worship services the weekend before the crusade.
“Without prayer I don’t know if this would have happened,” Cox said. “It reminded me the Lord is not done in our communities and is still at work. It’s a difficult culture in which to serve. But I think the Lord showed me through the power of prayer and people coming together at the same time to discern the Lord’s will in unity and purpose is the result of that, and what could be.”